Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

The Role of Self-Construals in Developing Customer Value Co-Creation Behavior

Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

The Role of Self-Construals in Developing Customer Value Co-Creation Behavior

Article excerpt

Abstract

A contrasting debate on the role of customer in value co-creation has been observed. One school of thought believes that customer is always value co-creator while other believe that customer is always value creator (not co-creator). Value is co-created when customer invite company into joint sphere and involve in dialogue. In line with second school of thought, this study posits that not every customer is always ready to invite company into joint sphere to involve in dialogue; hence not every customer is always value co-creator. Drawing from the theory of self-construals, the study proposes that customers of interdependent self construals will be more interested to invite company to joint sphere for value co-creation while customers with independent self construals will be less interested to invite company to joint sphere for value co-creation. However, subjective norms in the forms of in-group social influences can moderate the relationships. An extensive review of literature in the domain of cultural value at individual level, service-dominant logic of marketing and value co-creation has been carried out to justify the relationships of proposed conceptual framework. The study contributes in the body of knowledge of value co-creation by observing this phenomenon first time from the self-construals lens. This study is conceptual in nature and emphasis has be given to know the existing practices of value co-creation and the way self-construals can play role in developing customer value co-creation behavior.

Keywords: Self-Construals; Cultural values, Service-dominant logic, Value co-creation, Subjective Norms

1. INTRODUCTION

Value co-creation remains an attractive area of research interest during recent years. The concept was introduced first in 2000 by Parahald and Ramaswamy and was later supported by service-dominant logic in which customer's role in value co-creation was emphasized. It was stated that "customer is always co-creator of value" (Vargo & Lusch, 2008b). The way it was defined in S-D logic was questioned later that if "customer is always co-creator of value" and value creation is an all-encompassing process; then everything is co-creation--hence no need for further investigation? (Gronroos, 2011). This distinct argument gives logical sense that if customer is always value co-creator then it is hard to define the role of each actor in value co-creation. Gronroos and Voima (2013) believe that value creation is the 'customer's creation of value-in-use' where customer is always the incharge of value creation and creates value for himself in the customer sphere (p.144). Firm is value facilitator which offer value propositions. Value co-creation occurs when customer invite firm into joint sphere to involve in dialogue (p.140).

This logic makes the role of both actors understandable. Nonetheless, this logic like many others treat all customers as equal integrators. Hence a question arise; do every customer always ready to invite firm to come into joint sphere for co-creation of value? We posit that not every customer always ready to invite firm to come into joint sphere and involve in value co-creation. It primarily depends on the nature of customer. Each customer has his own self which is broadly derived from the culture in which he born, groomed and living. His thoughts are derived from different values and norms which he carries from his cultural background. For instance, individuals living in individualist cultures usually like separateness, freedom and sovereignty, while those living in collectivistic cultures like to keep harmony with the groups (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). According to theory of self-construals, individuals even in the same culture are not always same but are different in a way that they are true cultural representative and construe of the self (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). Some people are more idiocentric in nature while others are allocentric. …

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